Congresswoman Karen Bass and mall developer Rick Caruso, the two candidates running to be the next mayor of Los Angeles, squared off in a televised debate Wednesday night. The evening saw the two alternate between marginal disagreements on policy proposals and pre-planned attacks on each other’s record. …
Caruso has pledged to hire 1,500 more LAPD officers, and to ban street encampments. Bass, while sounding more moderate on crime and more empathetic about homelessness, also wants to hire more police officers — though only about 300 — and also wants to ban street encampments, though she wants to do so in a less heavy-handed way that relies more on social workers than law enforcement.
“You can’t criminalize poverty,” she said.
A moment from a previous debate came back to haunt Bass. During the primary campaign, Bass was asked to rate her own personal safety on a scale of 1 to 10. She said it was a “10.” After the recent break-in at her home, she said it was now a “5.”
Caruso seemed to blame Bass for the theft of her firearms, saying, “There are two guns on the street now. And we have terrible gun violence in the city of Los Angeles now.”